Boolean Operators link concepts and are used to broaden or narrow your search. Briefly, here's how they work:
AND - finds results with your all search terms. AND narrows your search.
OR - finds results with any of your search terms. OR broadens your search.
NOT - finds results with only one of your search terms. NOT narrows your search.
Take a look at the Boolean Operators guide for more detailed information about how to use this valuable search technique.
Wildcards are symbols used in place of letters or words to help you broaden your search. Here's how they work:
|Hawaiians, etc.||winter, etc.|
|wom?m finds:||women||hydroly?e finds:||hydrolyze|
To find out more about this search technique in Biological Abstracts, take a look at the help page about Wildcards.
You have probably noticed when searching in databases or using Google, that when you enter a phrase - such as invasive species - some of your results contain both words, but not as a phrase.
To make sure your terms are searched as a phrase, you need to use quotation marks.
In Biological Abstracts the following searches break down like this:
invasive species = 19,559 results
"invasive species" = 6,765 results
For example, one of the articles that is found for the search with no quoatation marks is about the analysis of two species using a field research technique that is less invasive than others.
When searching in Biological Abstracts, here are a few things to note:
Capitalization does not matter:
Apostrophes are searched as spaces:
Use the hyphen when searching for words that are often hypenated: